For a Kinder, Gentler Society
Old Shanghai and the Clash of Revolution

  • X. L. Woo
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Old Shanghai and the Clash of Revolution.
Sound Bite
The first half of the 20th century, life in Shanghai played out against a backdrop of shifting political maneuvers that eventually melded into the Pacific side of World War II, shattering the structures and burning off the patina that for centuries had made 'Old Shanghai' a world unto itself.

In this personal history we follow one man through the cataclysmic changes in China during the past 75 years. Born just before the outbreak of the Second Sino–Japanese War that meant the end of 'Old Shanghai,' his life spans Japan’s conquest of Shanghai in 1937 to the civil war and Communist takeover, through Mao’s desperate attempts to modernize a medieval country while fending off real and imagined threats of foreign intervention and subversion from within. Finally, after watching Deng Xiaoping open the economy while keeping a tight rein on social freedoms, in an atmosphere of burgeoning corruption, the protagonist makes it to the United States to see for himself what the tales of freedom and democracy might offer.


About the Author

X. L. Woo has published a series of narrative histories of China with Algora Publishing. Mr. Woo graduated from the prestigious Zhongshan University (Sun Yat-Sen University) in Guangzhou, China, and taught English at East China Normal University in Shanghai for more than ten years, then came to the United States on a visiting professorship at Rutgers University. A bilingual writer and poet, he has published four books in Chinese and several books in English. His essays and columns in Chinese are published in US Chinese newspapers, and one of his novels was published in a local Chinese newspaper in serial form. His translations of poems from both English into Chinese and Chinese into English have been published in magazines in China and Hong Kong.

About the Book
Written in a literary, narrative style, the book gives readers a picture of Chinese society and the country as it evolved beyond recognition in one lifetime. A few details suffice to give the flavor of life under Japanese rule in Shanghai prior to...
Written in a literary, narrative style, the book gives readers a picture of Chinese society and the country as it evolved beyond recognition in one lifetime. A few details suffice to give the flavor of life under Japanese rule in Shanghai prior to World War II. With Japan's surrender in 1945, Chiang Kai-shek ruled over China. In that period private business flourished and some people prospered. But when Chiang Kai-shek was defeated by the Communist Party and fled to Taiwan in 1949, property owners and intellectuals suffered through all the subsequent turmoil and all the great leaps forward -- and backward -- under Chairman Mao.

Data is included that indicate the number of deaths in the various upheavals. After Mao and the arrest of so-called the Gang of Four, Deng Xiaoping adopted a more open policy and started on the capitalist road financially, but he failed to make significant revisions politically. Meanwhile, the Chinese people had been allured by the ideals of democracy and freedom of speech as promoted by the West, and longed for the chimera of a life of ease and abundance, while corruption grew. A wave of emigration followed as many took the first opportunity to go to the West and taste a different world.



Pages 236
Year: 2013
BISAC: HIS008000
BISAC: SOC007000
Soft Cover
ISBN: 978-0-87586-996-4
Price: USD 21.95
Hard Cover
ISBN: 978-0-87586-997-1
Price: USD 31.95
eBook
ISBN: 978-0-87586-998-8
Price: USD 21.95
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